Mslexia Poetry Competition 2020

1st prize: £2,000

Judge: Karen McCarthy Woolf
Entry fee: £10 for up to three poems
Closing date: 7 December 2020

Our Poetry Competition is back for another year and we’re excited to welcome poems of any length, in any style, on any subject.

Our judge is Karen McCarthy Woolf whose collection An Aviary of Small Birds was described as ‘extraordinarily moving and technically flawless’ (The Poetry Review) and was shortlisted for both the Forward Felix Dennis and Fenton Aldeburgh prizes. As an editor of five literary anthologies, she has launched many new voices. Her poems have been translated into Spanish, Turkish and Swedish, selected for Poems on the Underground, and made into poetry films.

The competition is open to women of any nationality from any country.

Each £10 entry fee allows you to submit up to three poems. If you’d like to enter more than three poems, please select the correct number of entries below.

The winner will receive £2,000 plus two optional extras: a one-to-one feedback session with acclaimed poet Malika Booker; and a one-week retreat at the beautiful Cove Park Centre in Scotland. Our second-place poet will receive £500; our third-place poet will receive £250 and 17 runners up will receive £25. All winners and runners up will be published in the March 2021 issue of Mslexia.

In addition, there is a special prize of £250 for the best poem by a previously-unpublished woman poet.

This competition is separate from our Mslexia Pamphlet Competition 2020, so if you also have a collection looking for publication, step this way.

Have a question about formatting, eligibility, or anything else? Please see our comprehensive Poetry and Pamphlet Competition FAQs.

Be sure to read the rules before entering.

For any further information, call us on 0191 204 8860 or email